SHEMOS

shemos Hebrew torah

SHEMOS

“And these are the names of the Children of Israel who were coming to Egypt…”

“Who were coming”— is written in the present tense. But didn’t bnei Yisroel come to Egypt long ago? This comes to teach us that they were “outstanding there,” that they never assimilated among the people of Egypt and many years later, it was as if they had just arrived in Egypt.

(Maran Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz zy’a)

 

“She saw that he was good and she hid him for three months.”

Yocheved saw with ruach hakodesh that Moshe would be punished because eventually he would say, “Shall sheep and cattle be slain for them to suffice them, or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them to suffice them” (Bamidbar 11:22). She hid him for three months, the months of Adar—the mazal of fish, Nissan—the mazal of a lamb, and Iyar—the mazal of an ox, so that Moshe would not be denounced for what he would say in the future. “Sheep and cattle”—the mazal of Nissan and Iyar. “Or shall all the fish of the sea”—the mazal of Adar.

(Maran Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz zy’a)

 

“During those many days it happened that the king of Egypt died, and Bnei Yisroel groaned because of the work and they cried out.”

When a person is oppressed and pressured, his feelings are numbed, and he can’t even think that life could be otherwise. Once some of his hardships ease, he begins to fathom how terrible his situation actually is.

Bnei Yisroel in Mitzrayim were so severely oppressed, that they were not capable of feeling that theirs life was difficult, and that it is possible to live an easier life. After the king of Egypt died, they had a momentary respite from the work, till a new king would be crowned. Only then did they begin to feel how dreadful their plight was, and they began to cry because of the heavy labor.

(The Chozeh of Lublin zt”l)

 

“An angel of G-d appeared to him in a blaze of fire from amid the bush…”

Since Moshe Rabbeinu’s heart was aflame with a sacred fire because of his enthusiasm and fervor in avodas Hashem—“in the heart of the fire,” therefore he merited to a revelation of the Shechinah—“an angel of Hashem appeared to him.”

(Me’or VeShemesh)

 

“Hashem said, I have indeed seen the affliction of My people that is in Egypt , and have heard its outcry because of it’s taskmasters…And now, behold! the outcry of Bnei Yisroel has come to me…”

The second pasuk here is repetitious. What is the significance of Hashem’s reiteration that ‘the cry of Bnei Yisroel comes to me,’ after having said that ‘[I] have heard their cry…’

Hashem consistently heard the cries of Bnei Yisroel, and interrupted his conversation with Moshe Rabbeinu, lamenting like a father about the hardships of His children, saying, ‘Ve’atoh’- Even now as I am speaking to you, ‘The cry of Bnei Yisroel comes to me.’

(Maran Rav Sar Shalom of Belz zy”a)

 

“Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should take the Bnei Yisroel out of Egypt? And He said, “For I shall be with you—and this is your sign that I have sent you: When you take the people out of Egtpt you shall serve G-d on this mountain.”

Moshe Rabbeinu’s question, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh,’ stemmed from his tremendous humility. Hashem responded that because of this positive trait character, ‘I shall be with you,’ as a posuk in Yeshaya (57:15) tells us, Hashem dwells upon those who have a humble spirit. ‘And this shall be a token that I have sent you’- What shall be a sign to you that I choose the humble? That ‘you shall serve G-d upon this mountain’ which was chosen for Matan Torah precisely because it was the lowest of all mountains.

(Ach Pri Tevuah)

 

“Moshe said to G-d: Behold, when I come to Bnei Yisroel… and they say to me, ‘What is His Name?—what shall I say to them? Hashem answered Moshe, “I shall be what I will be,”

The Gemara states, (Shabbos 55) that the seal of Hakodosh Boruch Hu is emes, truth. When Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem how he could prove to Bnei Yisroel the veracity of what he is saying, Hashem said that he should tell them, ‘Eh’keh asher Eh’keh’, the name that symbolizes truth. How? The numerical value of Eh’keh is 21. Multiplied by the second Eh’keh, (21 x 21) is 441, which is the numerical equivalent of the word emes.

This concept is alluded to in the piyut of Rosh Hashanah (Mussaf): “Vechol ma’aminim shehu dayan emes, hahogui be’Eh’keh asher Eh’keh.

(Imrei Emes)

 

“Go, and gather the elders of Israel, and say to them… I have surely remembered you and what is done to you in Egypt… They will heed your voice…”

Rashi: Pokod pokadeti – Because you will use this specific expression, they will listen to you, since this sign has been transmitted to them through Yosef and Yaakov, and they know that with this expression they will be redeemed…If everyone knew the ‘code’, why did Moshe Rabbeinu’s use of the expression

If everyone knew the ‘code’, why did Moshe Rabbeinu’s use of the expression pokod pokadeti give him the creditability?As we know, Moshe Rabbeinu had a speech impediment, which made it impossible for him to clearly enunciate the letters

As we know, Moshe Rabbeinu had a speech impediment, which made it impossible for him to clearly enunciate the letters si’n, pei and sof. Only by way of a miracle was he able to transmit the words, ‘pokod pokadeti’ to Bnei Yisroel.Bnei Yisroel knew that when the words ‘pokod

Bnei Yisroel knew that when the words ‘pokod pokadeti’ will be communicated to them miraculously, it would be a definite sign that they will be redeemed.

Along these lines, we can interpret the posuk in Tehillim (81:6) ‘Edus beYehoseif somo – Yosef gave Bnei Yisroel a sign, with which to identify their true redeemer, ‘betzeiso al eretz Mitzrayim – when Hashem will go out to fight against the Egyptians and redeem His children. What will the sign be? Sfas lo yodati – From someone who does not know how to distinctly pronounce the letters of sfas – si’n, pei, sof, ‘eshma’- you will nevertheless clearly hear the words pokod pokadeti.

(Vayedabeir Moshe)